Online freight sales and B2B E-Commerce

money spent in holiday season sales 2014

Too many zeros? That’s $89 billion dollars, the amount Forrester Research believes will be spent on online shopping this holiday season.

While freight vendors have been in overdrive for weeks, holiday season shopping kicked off last weekend, with the average holiday shopper spending $160 (okay, $159.55) online. On average, shoppers spent $381 dollars over the four days, so about 43% of all holiday shopping last weekend was online.

IBM research found that US online Thanksgiving and Black Fridays sales were up 17% over last year, with mobile shopping accounting for a whopping 28.9% of all sales sales.

So yea, online shopping is kind of a big deal. Which shouldn’t be a surprise coming less than a month after Alibaba pulled in $9 billion dollars in sales in one day (that’s about 3 times Ferrari’s annual revenue).

Anticipating a 12% rise in packages these holidays, the United States Postal Service will be delivering packages seven days a week, a strategy which seemed to contribute towards smooth delivery last year. More retailers are toeing the line than last year, with 50% guaranteeing delivery for orders placed by December 20, compared to 37% last year.

From B2C to B2B: Online Sales Going AheadPercentage of online B2B shoppers

And if you’re doing your personal shopping online, you might do your business purchasing there as well. Growth of Amazon and Ebay’s B2B online sales are outpacing the growth of consumer sales by 10%-20%.

The numbers speak for themselves. When 200 corporate buyers were surveyed by the Acquity Group, 72.9% of buyers wanted online resources for education, with over 45% willing to complete purchases online, contingent on having online or offline support availability.

What about Online Freight Sales?

Great question.

Online Freight Sales Infographic (Click for full size)

Online Freight Sales Infographic (Click for full size)

Freightos ran a quick online survey to see how much freight forwarders rely on online sales, specifically when it comes to finding new customers – online inbound lead generation.

We looked at the websites of the top 20 freight forwarders in the world and checked out four key metrics:

  1. Is the front page optimized for landing new customers or for servicing existing customers?
  2. Is there a easy call-to-action that pushes new customers to sign up or request quotes?
  3. How easy is it to get in touch? What is provided by these freight forwarders on the front page?
  4. How many clicks does it take to get to that information?

The bottom line? Freight forwarders are not using the web to grow.

Only one of the twenty websites that we saw seemed to be developed with the marked goal of landing new online business. Some 25% were geared towards both new and existing customers, leaving a whopping 70% of websites that only serve as a customer support tool.

It took an average of 2.5 clicks just to get to a place where a prospect could get in touch with a freight salesperson. And in most cases, these tools were not intuitive. Only 20% of the forwarders provided a means to request a freight quote, while a full 40% didn’t even have an email form on their website.

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